Category: Houston

“Collaborative Robots: What are they and when to use them.” AWS Houston

On Wednesday, October 16th at 7:00 pm, Dan Allford lead a session at AWS Welding Houston.

Collaborative robots or cobots are designed to be safe to work near people.

This unique feature opens up new applications for robots. One of these areas is welding and plasma cutting. Using case studies, Dan discusses where cobots might be applied and where they should not.

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FANUC Robotics Open House in Houston, Texas: October 19th and 20th, 2016

FANUC Robotics in Houston, Texas is hosting an Open House on October 19th and 20th. As an integrator of FANUC Robotics, the team at ARC Specialties will represent the latest in robotic and automated manufacturing technology at this event.

The Technology Workshop will include sessions on ROBOGUIDE/Offline Programming, CNC Technology and General Motion Applications, and CNC Aftermarket Support and Maintenance Overview.

Demonstrations at this event will include:

  • M-20iA/25 with FANUC Flex Gripper 3D Bin Picking
  • New M-900/280 Rigid Robot
  • CR-35iA Load/Unload
  • Robodrill with LR-Mate Load/Unload
  • M-1iA High Speed Battery Handling
  • LR-Mate 200iD/4S Relay Inspection
  • M-20iA/25 with IRVision Fenceless Assembly System

+1 888-FANUC-US

July 28th | Lunch and Learn | Featuring Talks and Demos on Hydrogen in Shielding Gas, High Deposition Welding, and Welding Contact Tip Life Extension

When: Thursday, July 28th at 11:30 am – 2:30 pmWhere: ARC Specialties, 1730 Stebbins Drive  |  Houston, Texas 77043Cost: FreeRSVP: The first 25 companies to RSVP to will receive a packet of the new long-life contact tips from ARC Specialties on the day of the event.

Introducing ARC Gen-2 Extended-Life Wire Guides & Contact Tips

The first 25 companies to sign up for ARC Specialties Lunch and Learn on July 28th, 2016 will receive a complimentary sample packet of these Extended-Life Wire Guides / Contact Tips. To RSVP for the July 28th Lunch and Learn, please email

Optimizing Combustion: It is Possible to See Better Heat Rate and Lower NOx

Unknown to a lot of small to medium scale businesses, it is possible to boost efficiency and lower emission levels at the same time, by utilizing specific combustion optimization techniques. A brief look at how the processes work and how concerned businesses can use that to their commercial advantage should help in better clarifying the claim.

The Principle Idea: Flexibility in Boiler Operations

The core idea behind combustion optimization is centered around making boiler operations more flexible. This flexibility is brought on through informed optimization techniques that involve the use of closed-loop biases for dynamically changing the fuel and air settings.

As the process needs to be continuous and dynamic, the optimization must be in sync with the nature and volume of the specific load after each change. Due to the dynamic and continuous nature of this optimization, efficiency is inevitably improved and CO emissions are lowered down to optimal levels.

Successful Combustion Optimization Requires Professional Expertise

Irrespective of one’s experience with segments such as power plant management or mining, only optimization experts can bring about the necessary optimization. It is not possible to improve an industrial energy and combustion system’s performance to its maximum capacity without the expertise of professionals who have themselves designed or modified the necessary optimization hardware, software, and implementation procedures, over the course of many years.

Contact for help in optimizing the current equipment already in place. Businesses like this can also supply and install new, pre-optimized heating and combustion systems for maximum energy efficiency and boosted productivity, in addition to ensuring the least possible NOx emission.

Automation in Optimizing Combustion

It should be evident that continuous optimization is truly possible if the whole process is automated. How the optimization will be automated may differ in practice, as there are multiple methods. For example, a laser-powered tunable system could be used to monitor and then grid map the following, by placing the diode laser absorption spectroscopy machine near the furnace’s exit point.

  • Temperature levels
  • Oxygen and Carbon oxides
  • Moisture levels

Once the system is in place, the associated software handles everything else by dynamically tuning the air and fuel settings in accordance with the need of the moment. This reduces NOx emissions down to the lowest possible levels, cuts down on unnecessary energy consumption, and boosts the industrial combustion system’s overall performance.

Software Only Solutions

As an alternative, there are also purely software-based solutions that do not require any additional hardware like mentioned above. These automated solutions derive all their necessary optimization data from connected, cloud-based data banks for industrial heating and combustion systems. Private resources are usually better maintained than open sources, so heavy operations depend on the more accurate data from paid services.

Carbon emissions are a huge environmental threat, but they are often indicative of a poorly optimized heating and combustion system as well. Automated optimization solutions come with improvement possibilities for both aspects.

Welding Technician / Trainer Bonnie Harcrow-Hall Featured on Front Cover of Opportunity Houston Magazine

Bonnie Harcrow-Hall is Featured on Opportunity Houston Magazine Cover. The Greater Houston Partnership Focuses on Manufacturing in Houston for the Spring 2016 Edition of the Magazine.

Greater Houston Partnership Magazine, Opportunity Houston, Features ARC Specialties in Spring 2016 Manufacturing Article

Greater Houston Partnership’s quarterly magazine, Opportunity Houston, Features ARC Specialties in an overview article that highlights manufacturing in the Houston area. The cover story includes a short history and quotes about how ARC Specialties advances the manufacturing industry.


The full text in the article reads,

ARC Specialties, founded in 1983, specializes in automating manufacturing for the petrochemical world. Currently, the Houston company is focusing on its capacity to build robots for all industries. ARC currently has the power to customize robots from three of the top robot manufacturers in the world, used for a range of manufacturing jobs, from welding to cutting to assembly.

“ARC robots can automated manufacturing using a large variety of applications,” said Lindsay Burck, Marketing Coordinator. “Any kind of welding: MIG, TIG, submerged or plasma arc; any kind of cutting, drilling, tapping, inspection, spraying, gouging, grinding, lapping, assembling and palletizing. But what ARC Specialties is most known for is troubleshooting and solving manufacturing problems that manufacturers may not even know are there.”

“We were recently in a factory and noticed that the manufacturer used eight to ten employees to polish one five-ton ball valve at a time,” Burck said. “This production shop had four to five employees standing on stools holding and directing the polisher above their heads, and needed another four to five employees behind each of them to keep each other from falling.” ARC proposed having the manufacturer use a robot to do the polishing, and custom-built the Robotic Precision Lapping System for it.

“Almost all of the robots built here are custom made,” Burck said. “People know us for proposing solutions in a unique way, and for solving problems that haven’t necessarily been addressed before.” One example, she said, is ARC’s Flexible, Multi-Directional, 360 Degree Robotic Drill and Tap System for Motors, which is a 7-axis robotic system—six axes on the robot: pitch, rotation, and yaw of the wrist, plus the base rotation of robot and two linear arms. “The robot is five times less expensive than the traditional CNC machine tools used for these types of jobs today,” Burck said. She also noted, “It’s also more accurate than the old machining methods. This robotic system can go plus or minus by one-thousandth of an inch.”

Looking ahead, Daniel Allford, President and Founder of ARC Specialties, believes robotics will become 75 percent of ARC’s business—currently it’s 40 percent. “As a machine builder, we recognize that robots are more and more useful,” Allford said, “and comprise more and more of our business, especially as robots become increasingly able to automate processes that weren’t previously feasible to automate.

“It’s ironic,” he added, “that the USA, with its high labor cost, is 7th in the world for total robot usage. The U.S. has one-third the number of robots per employees as South Korea,” he said. “Next to other industrial countries, this shows vast room for improvement in the GDP and other markers of productivity, and we look forward to doing our part.”